(max) final project – 2015

final project performance patcher

  • Due: Tuesday, April 28, at noon. (our final exam meeting time)


Create a Max patcher and a two-minute performance using audio and video. Your final project may/should draw from your previous projects, as well as the topics we investigated at the end of the semester (audio buffers, video, etc).


  1. This project will build upon the synthesis techniques, live audio input, soundfile manipulation, and video topics that we have discussed in class. You may incorporate any configuration of sounds, synths, and videos that you like. Your objective should be to create a performance patch that features real-time control of 8 different parameters. You may consider building synths that will work in conjunction with the data storage objects (tables, histograms, coll, umemu, etc) and control of the basic MIDI parameters that we discussed earlier in class. You may choose to expand your pervious projects, or simply start from scratch. You should make every effort to be creative with this project; as always, aesthetics are important. Make music that is interesting to you. Draw upon your knowledge of experimental art music forms and unique beat-based compositions.
  2. You should complete a composition to perform that is TWO MINUTES in length. Some elements to consider include:
    1. Your patch should make use of the Presentation Mode feature in Max. Include any objects are necessary to your performance interface.
    2. Your project should have at least semi-neatly routed patch cables, encapsulated sub-patchers, and a general sense of organized chaos. Patches that are messy, poorly documented, contain no presentation mode, and/or look sloppy are unacceptable. Your instructor or colleagues should be able to open your patch and make sense of it. If they can’t, it is too messy.
    3. Your project should be of sufficient complexity to stand as a final project for this class. Think of ways to apply filtering, buffer playback, synths, and possibly video manipulation to create a convincing musical texture. The parameters you control should manipulate higher-order processing – don’t just control volume and playback speeds of sounds. You should be able to control a variety of parameters that make sense musically over time.
  3. Write a brief report (two pages, typed, double spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins) describing the sounds you created, any use of real-time control of your sounds, and significant DSP processes that you used. In your report, also briefly summarize the central organizing idea of the composition, and describe the formal structure. Make any other comments you feel are relevant.

project specifications

  1. At least 8 controllable parameters. These parameters should include input data, filters, buffer playback, effects, and video controls.
  2. Your project should be at least 2 minutes in duration.
  3. Your project should make use of layering as means creating a complex sonic texture.
  4. Your project must include AT LEAST one of the following: live audio input or soundfile manipulation.
  5. Your project MUST use MIDI performance controls. You may map your control parameters to the keyboards in the lab, or feel free to bring in your own devices.
  6. Your project must have a clean, well-organized performance interface. Projects that are messy and have poorly routed patch cables will be heavily penalized.
  7. You must have at least five separate sounds/synths for this project. If you plan to include video, it may substitute for one of your required sounds.
  8. You must include at least effects/processors on your sounds/synths. Effects and processors can include filters, reverb, degrade, delays, and other topics we’ve covered in class. Feel free to explore the Max documentation for ideas.

file organization

  1. Your Max patch should be labeled “yourLastName_yourFirstName_FINALmax”.
  2. Your studio report should be labeled “yourLastName_FINALreport”.
  3. All of these materials should be placed in a folder labeled “yourLastName_FINAL_15”.
  4. All necessary external subpatchers, audio, and video files should be placed into “yourLastName_FINAL_15”.
  5. “yourLastName_FINAL_15” should be zipped into a folder.

procedure for turning in project

  1. Upload your zip file to a file sharing site (Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, etc.).
  2. Email me the link to download the file.

grading criteria

  1. Creativity of patcher and performance (60 pts).
  2. Neatness and documentation via comments (and/or send/receive as appropriate) (30 pts).
  3. Meeting the 2-minute length of performance and having the required 8 parameters under patcher control/variation (15 pts).
  4. Following turn-in procedure (5 pts).

110 points total


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